oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - Reactions of workers of the meat ant Iridomyrmex detectus (Smith) (Dolichoderinae: Hymenoptera) to light and atmospheric humidity



The meat ant, Iridomyrmex detectus (Smith) builds its nests in the soil in many parts of Australia (McKeown, 1942). The workers usually construct mounds from which beaten tracks lead through the surrounding vegetation to trees infested with sapsucking insects. In the vicinity of Adelaide, the ants are usually very active during summer while the workers seldom appear on the soil surface during winter (Nel, 1965). In this area the summers are hot and dry while the winters are cool and wet. When the workers leave their nests on hot and dry days they go to a drier and hotter environment than that prevailing inside their nests and it is probably to be expected that variations in the humidity reactions of this species occur even within relatively short periods.


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